Links has been a key ranking factor since Google launched, and linking is still so important for marketers, users and search engines.
Through its PageRank algorithm, Google has measured the quality of pages according to the number of links pointing to it.
Once SEOs worked out they could manipulate links to enable sites to rank, Google has been constantly trying to keep on of this manipulation, trying to measure the quality and relevancy of links, to penalise what it sees as shady link building strategies, and to bring in other metrics to measure the quality of pages, UX and social signals for example.
As such, while link building remains an important strategy, many methods which were successful in the past will not work now, or could even invite a Google penalty.
It’s important to keep on top of link building trends, and to build links the right way. Often the best tactic is simply to produce useful content that people want to link to and push it through your existing audience, social channels and key influencers.
Content like useful blog posts, infographics, useful stats and research and informative reports can be picked up, referenced and linked to by a range of relevant sites within your target industry.
It’s also important to think about the links within your own website. Internal linking can help you to boost important pages or valuable new content, and help it to become more visible in search. It can help users to navigate your site more easily, and can also be used to avoid issues which may negatively affect search traffic, such as cannibalisation.
A key point to remember, whether you’re building links or using internal linking, is that links need to be valuable for the user, and natural. This way, they’re more likely to be seen as relevant and quality links by Google.